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CoSTUME NATIONAL is an Italian fashion house founded in 1986 by Ennio Capasa, Creative Director, and his brother Carlo, CEO of the Maison, which has its head offices in Milan. The company produces clothing under the brands Costume National, Costume National Homme (for men) and C’N’C (an ‘avant garde “street-couture” line’) as well as scents including The Trilogy, Scent Gloss, Scent Cool Gloss, Intense, 21, and Homme.
The company was founded in 1986 in Milan by Ennio Capasa, fresh from working in Japan as an assistant to Yohji Yamamoto, and his brother Carlo Capasa. Its first womenswear collection was presented in Milan in the same year. In 1991 the ‘Woman Collection’ was presented in Paris. Between 1995 and 1998 the fashion house opened stores in Milan, New York City, Rome, Los Angeles and Paris.
In 2000 a menswear collection was streamed online in collaboration with Kataweb. Over the following three years the company extended its range of products to include perfumes, eyewear, ready to wear apparel and footwear, plus accessories targeted at the younger generations.
Distribution and Production
The company’s Thiene factory is responsible for the men's and women’s Ready To Wear production. The factory is mainly responsible for cutting-room, pattern-making and finished product quality control. CN Shoes factory, based in Fossò, develops and produces footwear. Leather bags and leather accessories are produced by selected partners and commercialised by CN Production. Leather clothing production is licensed to Leather Company, that works in exclusive for Costume National. Costume National has 5 flagship stores which were designed with the same concept of classical edginess and minimalism. in October 2008 Costume National launched its online store where the Costume National and Costume National Homme collections and accessories are available.
C’N’C Costume National
C’N’C Costume National, produced and distributed through a licensing agreement with ITTIERRE, offers Ready To Wear apparel for Men and Women as well as footwear and accessories. PLUS IT, the accessories division which features shoes, bags and a line of small accessories, also has a worldwide distribution network. The production facilities are located in Italy, while the distribution has a worldwide network.
Collaborations and Co-branding
In 2005 Ennio Capasa created the DUCATI Black Dogo: a motorcycle similar to the Argentine mastiff it got its name from. This collaboration allowed him to design a series of special items of clothing under the C’N’C Costume National Ducati label.
To celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2007, the company presented the book 21 (a photographic journal of Capasa’s career), a version of the Absolut Vodka bottle dressed in black vinyl with images of two catwomen, the Alfa 147 C’N’C 21 (a limited edition car costume), a unisex fragrance called ‘Costume National 21’, and a line of luxury sneakers under the name ‘Costume National Active’.
During Milan Design Week of 2009 the Dutch designer Maarten Baas presented his show-event entitled “Real Time” in the C’N’C Costume National showroom. C’N’C Costume National showed the SS2010 Collection in Piazza Duomo in front of 40.000 guests, rather than to a limitied number of ‘those who are active in the industry’. To celebrate Christmas 2009 the company participated in the Water Project, an Amref initiative.
In 2010 C’N’C Costume National showed the FW2010/2011 Collection at the Teatro dell’Arte of the Triennale di Milano.
In 2009 the company’s ‘Solar Bag’, which featured solar panels which charged a battery concealed in the lining able to supply power to mobile phones, iPods and other digital accessories, received the “Chi é Chi Award” for the best eco-friendly fashion product. In 2008 Ennio Capasa designed a limited edition t-shirt to support the Climate Project, an Al Gore initiative. To celebrate Christmas 2008 Costume National collaborated with Planete Urgence, an organization dedicated to environmental and social change, in a ‘Plant a Tree’ project.
- ‘Sequedge and Costume National Join Hands’, imagesfashion.com, 24 April 2010.
- Renata Molho, 21 Costume National, Assouline Publishing, 2007 ISBN 978-2-7594-0169-7